My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a beautifully-written portrayal of the Spanish influenza outbreak from the perspective of one "ordinary" seventeen year-old, who leaves behind the comfort of her boarding school to work for the Red Cross, knocking on doors all over Portland in search of unassisted victims. I found Cleo to be a completely sympathetic heroine and her voice sucked me right in. I don't remember learning a ton about this in school and it completely captured my imagination as I tried to imagine this in modern day terms. I remember how panicked everyone in our town was a few years ago (and the six hours we stood in line to get our kids into a flu clinic) and it really brought home how vulnerable we all are to something like this. There were several references in the novel to "there but for the grace of God" and I think the book really captured that vulnerability well. No one, regardless of standing or privilege, was truly safe, as Chloe finds out the hard way. Great read! It publishes in a few weeks and is currently available for preorder.